Fluoride FAQs from Your Dentist

FluorideFluoridation is a very controversial topic with numerous people on far extremes on each side. A large amount of research has been done on the topic in the last 60 years and it has been used for its health benefits for the last 5 years. Here are a few questions that people usually as their dentists:

Where does fluoride come from?

Fluoride is a mineral that exists naturally in all water bodies. But all these water bodies have different levels of fluoride. Local water operators add more fluoride to the water to adjust it to levels that are more beneficial. There are theories suggesting that the fluoride that is added to the water is a byproduct or waste product from fertilizer producers. The fluoride added to the water is derived from phosphate rocks. These are obtained from natural calcium deposits and later are purified, before being added to the water.

How is fluoride beneficial to us?

Fluoride helps our teeth fight against tooth decay. In the right amounts it is very beneficial for the longevity of our teeth. A lot of research has been dedicated to this topic and the results show that fluoridated water and toothpaste are actually good for the health of your teeth. Fluoridation is beneficial for both children and adults. In a 2007 report, it was stated fluoridation decreases the chances of tooth decay by 27 percent in adults.

What are the Health Risks of Fluoride?

Based off of research we can say that there are no health risks that are linked with fluoride. There are some internet articles that may claim that it is linked to lowered IQs or higher risk of cancer. Yet there is no credible scientific evidence that can prove these statements. The only known risk of fluoridation is   dental fluorosis.

What is Dental Fluorosis?

It is the only condition that is linked with fluoride, and how if used excessively, it can cause some damage. Dental fluorosis or mottled enamel is a very common condition. It occurs when the intake of fluoride is much higher that it should be, during the enamel formation phase. In a moderate or severe case, the condition causes teeth damage.  The condition can be remedied by fixing the patient's fluoride intake. The damage, however, lasts a lifetime and can be cosmetically fixed through certain dental procedures like Porcelain Laminate Veneers or Enamel Microabrasion.

Do Children and Fluoride mix well?

Both adults and children need to protect their teeth from tooth decay. But it is vital that you monitor your children as they brush their teeth as they may be using way too much of it or swallowing it. Remember excess of anything is bad even if it is supposed to be good for you.

For a really long time the mineral has been studied and used, and it has helped in the reduction of tooth decay amongst children and adults. Some people have their reservations because of some articles online but they can be rectified by studying actual research papers.

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